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SSA Senior School Summer Reading 2017: Forms III and IV Summer Reading Options

Forms III and IV Summer Reading Options

FORMS III AND IV Summer Reading

Watership Down by Richard Adams


Watership Down, a fantasy-based epic in the vein of Redwall and The Lord of the Rings trilogy, follows the journey of a collection of rabbits. These are adventuresome rabbits, warrior rabbits, philosopher rabbits – they are brave, self-sacrificial when necessary and they are smart. While the novel clearly falls under the category of fantasy, the novel is written with realistic details and a classic journey structure – in no way is it cute or condescending. The novel is absorbing, easily understood, and one of those stories that lingers within the reader for years. At the same time that it operates as an allegory – touching on many universal themes – Watership Down is a classic tale of adventure, one of those books you both “should” read and will hate to see come to an end.


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Irresistible: The Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping Us Hooked

by Adam Alter


Welcome to the age of behavioral addiction – an age in which half of the American population is addicted to at least one behavior. We obsess over our emails, Instagram likes, and Facebook feeds; we binge on TV episodes and YouTube videos; we work longer hours each year; and we spend an average of three hours each day using our smartphones. Half of us would rather suffer a broken bone than a broken phone, and Millennial kids spend so much time in front of screens that they struggle to interact with real, live humans.

In this revolutionary book, Adam Alter, a professor of psychology and marketing at NYU, tracks the rise of behavioral addiction, and explains why so many of today's products are irresistible. Though these miraculous products melt the miles that separate people across the globe, their extraordinary and sometimes damaging magnetism is no accident. The companies that design these products tweak them over time until they become almost impossible to resist. By reverse engineering behavioral addiction, Alter explains how we can harness addictive products for the good – to improve how we communicate with each other, spend and save our money, and set boundaries between work and play – and how we can mitigate their most damaging effects on our well-being, our health and our happiness. (From


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Summerland by Michael Chabon

In the far reaches of the Pacific Northwest is a place where the sun always shines and the sky is free of clouds. The local Little League plays there every summer. The magical creatures who ensure that the weather is always perfect, however, find themselves under threat, and they need a baseball hero to save them. They choose possibly the worst player ever from the league as their champion, who must work with his human friends and magical-creature allies to win a baseball game and thus save the Summerlands and the rest of the world.

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Lord of the Flies by William Golding

Lord of the Flies is an adventure tale in its purest form, a thrilling and elegantly told account of a group of British schoolboys marooned on a tropical island. Alone in a world of uncharted possibilities, devoid of adult supervision or rules, the boys begin to forge their own society, their own rules, their own rituals. With this seemingly romantic premise, through the seemingly innocent acts of children, Golding exposes the duality of human nature itself-the dark eternal divide between order and chaos, intellect and instinct, structure and savagery.” (From a special edition of the classic novel)


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The Princess Bride: S. Morgenstern’s Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure

by William Goldman

Are you in search of suspense, romance, intrigue, and swashbuckling escapades? Do you want all of the historical sections of a long and boring novel abridged for you by an accomplished author? Look no further than The Princess Bride by William Goldman. Set in the fictional country of Florin, this fantastical story is for those who love fairy tales with romances and adventure stories with epic fight scenes. You will be on the edge of your seat as you laugh out loud and cheer on the diverse and entertaining characters that populate this now- classic adventure story.

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Farewell to Manzanar: A True Story of Japanese American Experience During and After the World War II Internment

by Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston, James D. Houston


Jeanne Wakatsuki was seven years old in 1942 when her family was uprooted from their home and sent to live at Manzanar internment camp – with 10,000 other Japanese-Americans. Along with searchlight towers and armed guards, Manzanar ludicrously featured cheerleaders, Boy Scouts, sock hops, baton twirling lessons and a dance band called the Jive Bombers who would play any popular song except the nation's #1 hit: "Don't Fence Me In." (From


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Lost Names: Scenes from a Korean Boyhood

by Richard E. Kim

Lost Names is an autobiographically-inspired work of fiction that presents seven scenes from the life of a young Korean boy growing up during the Japanese occupation from 1932-45. As the Japanese take control of Korean schools, banning the teaching of Korean history, use of the native language, and eventually forcing the renunciation of family names to be replaced by Japanese names, the young protagonist searches for a sense of personal identity amid injustice.


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The Dead Zone by Stephen King

After a wonderful evening with his girlfriend, Sarah, at a county fair in eastern Maine, a night marked by his uncanny luck at the carnival’s wheel of fortune, Johnny Smith awakens in the hospital to find five years gone. He was in a car accident after dropping his fiancé off at home, and he has lost nearly everything: his fiancé has moved on, and the world has changed in large and small ways. But he has gained something too: he seems to have the power of clairvoyance – the ability to sometimes see into a person’s future, triggered by physical contact with that person. What seems at first to be a gift turns into a curse, and it ultimately puts Smith on a collision course with a charismatic politician he comes to believe could be catastrophically dangerous to the future. As always, King’s concept is compelling and he knows how to give the reader a chill, but The Dead Zone is more than just a thriller: King writes sensitively about characters we come to know well. It is one of his earliest novels and one of his best.

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Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel


For fans of post-apocalyptic fiction, this novel is set in a near-future version of North America where the population has been decimated by a flu pandemic. While some survivors band together to form a merry troupe of Shakespearean actors, others gravitate towards a violent and mysterious prophet. A comic book artist, a child star, and a paparazzi photographer are just a few of the colorful characters in this finalist for the 2014 National Book Award.


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The Chosen by Chaim Potok

Reuven and Danny meet as adversaries on a baseball field in Brooklyn but soon become linked by their deep faith and admiration for each other’s intellectual and spiritual commitment.  Potok’s portrayal of their growing relationship against the backdrop of post-WWII America provides a warm personal lens through which to view the challenges of faith, family, and friendship.

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The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski

Edgar Sawtelle, born mute, bonds with the dogs his family so carefully breeds. This novel immerses us in Edgar's world, a farm in northern Wisconsin, drawing us into a world of warmth and love and beauty. As Edgar grows, he sees that world crumble unexpectedly, and he is forced to confront selfishness and even evil. A coming-of-age story, a thriller, a book about boys and dogs and families and destiny – this novel pulls together its disparate pieces to create powerful, engrossing narrative.


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